October 22nd, 2012

Paul Neyron rose 2

Monday so far

I tried to go to sleep around 3:30 a.m. or so, I think.  I know I was still awake at 4:00 a.m.  I must have finally fallen asleep perhaps at 5:00, because I woke at 1:00 p.m.  I wasn't moving that fast after I woke up, either.  S. had called yesterday afternoon, but I didn't check my phone, so I didn't see he'd called until 10:00 p.m. Sunday.  I e-mailed him, and said that if I didn't answer my phone right away, to e-mail me, because I check e-mail more frequently than I check my phone for calls.

S. called around 3:00 p.m. today, just when I was getting ready to go out, but I postponed my plans for a bit and we talked for half an hour.  We talked some about M., and the patterns S. is repeating in his relationship with M.  S. said I was making sense.  I talked to S. about the book The Velvet Rage, and said I was thinking of getting copies to give away, and that I'd get him a copy if he wanted.  He said it sounded interesting.

After I talked to S., I went to the grocery store.  I got sushi for dinner, and got back home before rush hour.

I may do one last read-through of the novella due Thursday, and turn it in tonight.  I may also read farther in African American Actresses.  I got through another chapter and a half after we got home.  I was a little shocked that the author is using the word "mulatto."  I thought it was pretty off-limits to use that.  Here's a quote about Fredi Washington.  "Physiologically, Washington was what is often called a white mulatto in that she was indistinguishable from (could 'pass' as) a white woman.  (Within the category of mulatto, a bright mulatto was a person with distinct Eurocentric features but one whose skin tone could not pass for white.)"  I hadn't heard the phrase "white mulatto" before.  The author describes some of the actresses as having Eurocentric features and some as having Afrocentric features.

African American Actresses has quotes about the makeup first used on Lena Horne: "...Horne admitted that her Hollywood debut was immediately problematic.  When she and Eddie 'Rochester' Anderson came together in romantic roles, according to Horne, 'They wanted me to match Rochester's color so they kept smearing dark makeup on me.  And then they had a problem in lighting and photographing me because, they said, my features were too small...In the end, the test was a disaster.  I looked as if I were some white person trying to do a part in blackface.  I did not do the picture; Ethel Waters got the part.'...Meanwhile, so that her unique color would not continue to be a dilemma, studio officials had the cosmetic 'Light Egyptian' assigned to her, a cosmetic that had been used for white actresses taking black roles." 

There were many quotes from African-American newspapers from the first sixty years of the twentieth century in African American Actresses and some in Damn Near White.  I'm not sure which book quoted the newspapers as using the word "ofay," but it was probably African American Actresses.  I wasn't aware the word was used in newspapers.  I thought it was more informal than that.  African American Actresses quotes newspapers describing some of the actresses as "sepia."  That term is dated, but I don't get the impression it was ever really offensive.  I wouldn't use it today, but it's interesting as a historical term.

I seem to be writing about race and colorism a lot lately.  Part of it is from reading Biyuti's blog and sometimes their Tumblr.  I've been going with Mom sometimes to the HBCU (Historically Black College or University) where she works and taking out books.  I think she picks out very interesting books.  So do the professors at the university.

I don't think it's appropriate for me to make a specific tag for the posts I've made about race.  I started using "GLBT" and "gay-related" as tags very early on in writing this journal.  I was volunteering for the GLBT organization at [local university] for a couple of years there, and the tags were very relevant, as H. and I researched the history of the organization and I was invited to a number of the organization's events and meetings, including some of the exec board meetings.

I could, in all seriousness, have used the tag "GLBT" for every post I've done about Glee.  I just use the "TV" tag and usually the "rambling" tag when I talk about the show, though.  A. and I talk about content on AfterElton and GLBT issues in general in the vast majority of our conversations, and S. and I talk about GLBT issues one way or another in most of our conversations.  S. and A. get the "friends" tag.  I don't think of this journal as having anything to do with social justice.  I think of it as horrifying the random reader because of how much I talk about gay characters in TV shows and books.

My expectation of a horrified reaction is because I expect homophobia from the general public, just like I expect biphobia on those occasions when I come out.  True, most of the comments I've gotten are from other people who enjoy seeing gay characters in their fiction.  I still have that consciousness of homophobia.  I'm light enough in spirit discussing the characters, but I'm grim about homophobia in real life.  Wow, that got depressing.  Don't worry, I'm doing fine.  I just don't usually talk directly about my real-life feelings like that.  I've felt that way for twenty years.  I'm used to it.